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  • OK next action against project but what about DEPENDENT ACTION against project ?

    Hi everybody,
    I have implemented the solution with a contact folder used for projects (so that next actions and projects are linked) and it works great for me but I am still unsure about where to put the dependent actions that I will have to complete once the next action is completed.

    Do you recommend to put the dependent action as a note inside the "task" representing the next action ?

    Do you recommend to put the dependent action as a note inside the "contact" representing the project ?

    Do you recommend to create a "task" category for dependent actions so that they are ready to be "upgraded" tpo next action at the right time ?

    Other alternatives ?

    Thanks for your comments
    Luca

  • #2
    Originally posted by Luca
    Do you recommend ... ?
    I do not recommend anything, as I do not see how you work with your organisation, which is you environment, are your constraints ...


    So, just for your inspiration, here is how I proceed:

    My project "folders" may have variable sections (can be Problem/request statements, Prefered alternative, master schedule, journal of events, Milestones outcomes, history...), but I always have an "Action" braistorming section where I dump any "todoable" thought. When I record, I read stuff in another section, if bulb="I should check this", ="maybe this could prevent that", etc, I do not decide but I immediately drop these "doable" thoughts in action section.

    When I open my project folder, what I see at first glance are :
    - Hard landscape milestones (if any)
    - Desired outcome and WR# when next review this project.
    - Action section (at least - if big- the active part for the period)
    - The Next Action(s) with context needed.
    Thus, when NA is done (and most often its next following actions), for my review, I have all what I must focus on in one "page".

    For the next NA, I may pick an action from the action section but more often this next NA is new :
    - because where I left the project my NA is obvious (and I don't care to make exaustive list of actions for the project : lazyness and ... wisdom)
    - because what I observed/learned while doing leads me to different actions that those I've foreseen.
    So, more than once new NAs I write spring me doable thoughts I stick above, in the Action section, and strike off others ....

    This more or less looks like your third alternative ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Luca

      Do you recommend to put the dependent action as a note inside the "contact" representing the project ?

      That's what I do.

      People do have different needs and constraints. But for me...

      I do project planning, including a tentative action plan inside the Contact/Project text space. When I tick off a completed action I consider what is the next action for that project. Often the next action is obvious and I just type it in immediately. If not, I take a look at my project plan for bearings. I usually come up with a new next action pretty quickly but if not (or if I have little time) I put in a next action like "brainstorm next action for ...".

      If I forget to do this, and I frequently do, the project can end up without a next action, but this is flagged up in the weekly plan.

      I wouldn't actually like to use an automated system with new next actions coming up when I finish the preceding one (as possible with Life Balance and Outlook with Add Ins) I find that the beauty of the GTD system is that it makes you think "what is the best next action" on a frequent basis. Your decision on the next action is therefore based on the most recent information which isn't always the case with an automated system.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you to both of you for the nice advices.
        I will do my experiments and see what works best for me.
        Thanks again
        Luca

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Luca
          Do you recommend to put the dependent action as a note inside the "contact" representing the project ?
          That's what I do as well. I made that decision based on David Allen's advice about filing: reduce the number of places something isn't if you can't remember where it is. For a given project, I could have an arbitrarily large set of future actions, some of which will change based on the outcomes of other actions.

          So, for the majority of projects, I brainstorm future actions into the note that's attached to the Outlook contact representing the project. (I use Agendus on my Palm, and having projects as contacts enables some nice project management abilities, which I'm working on a "white paper"/Web page about.) That way, when it's time to review the project again and decide the next action, I only have to look in one place.

          For some larger projects -- one of those on my list right now is "Become licensed as a foster parent", which has a dizzying array of forms and such associated with it -- I'll brainstorm into a ThoughtManager outline. Then, in the contact record, I'll put a note that says something like "Brainstorm is in the 'ABC Project Plan' TMgr Outline" so I know where to look for it.

          Of course, I make no claims that my method of working will be applicable for anyone but me. I've adopted the tools I have (Outlook on my PC, Agendus and ThoughtMgr on my Palm) because I do a significant fraction of my work away from my desk, and my compromise system works functionally in both environments. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

          Tammy

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